A Milwaukee County proposal limiting fines for possessing cannabis and items used to smoke it continues to advance forward.
The county's Judiciary, Safety and General Services committee is set to hear the resolution at a 1:30 p.m. meeting Thursday. The meeting includes live public comment - a recently launched initiative allowing residents to ask questions and share their concerns with the board's committees.
The proposal's sponsor, Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, announced the cannabis reform in early February. If the proposal gets approval from the committee and the board, residents cannot be fined more than a single buck for marijuana possession and possession and delivery of drug paraphernalia. That is, as long as the person is carrying 25 grams or less of cannabis.
Law enforcement would still be able to issue State of Wisconsin citations for possession of larger amounts.
Right now, if residents are caught with the items, they may face up to $500 in fines, and no less than $250.
A study by the Wisconsin ACLU finds Black Wisconsinites nearly four times more likely to be convicted of marijuana-related charges than White Wisconsinites, despite similar trends in usage.
State Representative David Bowen told TMJ4's Ryan Jenkins last month that police should be able to focus on bigger issues instead of being distracted by non-violent marijuana crimes in our communities.
A 2019 Marquette University Law Poll found that nearly 60% of Wisconsinites support the legalization of Marijuana.
Wisconsin's neighboring states, Illinois and Michigan both have legal recreational and medicinal cannabis. Minnesota has a medicinal marijuana program.